Lore:Chronicles of the Five Companions 1
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My name is Lyris of Skyrim, called Titanborn by some. I'm committing these words to paper on behalf of my friend and ally, a man history will remember only as "The Prophet." It was through his profound insight, and his study of the Elder Scrolls, that we came to understand the dire nature of the threat that now endangers all of Tamriel.
Let it be known by those who read these words that the Soulburst—the event that took place in the five-hundred-and-seventy-ninth year of the Second Era—was due to the treachery of a single Elf: the Altmeri necromancer Mannimarco, the King of Worms and the servant of the most vile of all the Daedric Princes, the God of Schemes and Lord of Brutality, Molag Bal.
In years past, Mannimarco served as chief advisor to the court of Emperor Varen Aquilarios. Originally a Duke of Chorrol, Varen became Emperor of Tamriel by right of conquest. With Mannimarco's counsel, Varen led a revolt against the previous dynasty, the savage regime of Reachmen known as the Longhouse Emperors. Yet, despite his conquest and victory, Varen was not to be a true emperor. Like the former Emperor Leovic, the blood of the Dragon didn't flow through Varen's veins. He was unable to light the Dragonfires in the Temple of the One, as a true Emperor must, by tradition.
The Dragonfires have remained unlit for generations. This is because the Amulet of Kings—a relic of the Divines gifted unto Saint Alessia by Akatosh—was lost in the centuries following the fall of the Reman Dynasty. Only this relic, traditionally worn by Imperial Emperors of the First Era, would allow a true-blooded ruler to spark the Dragonfires anew.
At Mannimarco's urging, Varen formed a group of companions to join him on an epic quest to locate this relic. These companions included myself, the Redguard swordmaster Sai Sahan, Grand Chancellor Abnur Tharn, and Mannimarco himself. For years we scoured the face of Tamriel, following countless leads, until we finally managed to locate it.
When we returned to the Imperial City, Mannimarco played upon Varen's insecurities and convinced him that the coronation ritual, properly modified, could not only light the Dragonfires, but persuade Akatosh to invest him with Divine agency and gift him with the blood of the Dragon. It was only after the coronation ritual was attempted that we learned the extent of Mannimarco's deception.
The King of Worms used his magic to corrupt the power of the Amulet, causing the calamity which came to be known as the Soulburst. I remember very little of the actual event, only that the chaos that followed was immediate and devastating.
Varen was consumed by the fiery wrath of the Soulburst. Sai Sahan and I were unjustly implicated in his death, made all the more suspicious because Sai fled as soon as he recovered, taking the Amulet of Kings with him. Grand Chancellor Tharn was an opportunist, and immediately cast his lot with Mannimarco.
The Prophet's story is one of mystery—he appeared one day on the steps of an abbey of the Moth Priests in Cyrodiil. They took him in and fed him, thinking he was nothing more than a vagabond. They were shocked when they found him in the libraries that night, poring over the eldritch etchings of an Elder Scroll. Only the Moth Priests themselves had the ability to read the scrolls, and they saw his arrival as a prophetic sign from the Divines.
As they do all who read them, the Elder Scrolls eventually took the Prophet's eyesight, leaving him permanently blinded. And yet he continued to study them in his mind's eye, and eventually foresaw the great and terrible threat that we are now faced with.
Word of his prophecies spread far and wide, eventually reaching the Imperial City and the ears of Mannimarco. The King of Worms immediately arrested the Prophet for rumor-mongering and treason, and had the abbey, and all of its contents, burned to the ground.
The catastrophe that the Prophet predicted began to take shape almost immediately. Vast swaths of the Empire were consumed by Daedric fire, and the first Dark Anchors fell upon the land.
Molag Bal's invasion of our world had begun, made possible by Mannimarco's betrayal.